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Enhanced AML Measures in Europe: Scrutiny Expands to Include Siblings of PEPs and Local Authorities

In a sweeping development, Europe's forthcoming Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws are set to introduce more rigorous oversight, encompassing siblings of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and members of local and regional authorities. Eva-Maria Poptcheva, one of the lead negotiators from the European Parliament, confirmed that the new legislation aims to broaden the scope of individuals falling under 'enhanced' AML vigilance, marking a strategic move to strengthen measures against money laundering activities.

Enhanced AML Measures in Europe: Scrutiny Expands to Include Siblings of PEPs and Local Authorities

A crucial aspect of the legislative changes involves the Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA), which is slated to play a pivotal role in implementing sanctions against Russia. Poptcheva highlighted the significance of this role, stating that AMLA's involvement would prevent the circumvention of targeted financial sanctions, particularly those imposed on Russian oligarchs. The authority is expected to supervise compliance with obligations related to targeted financial sanctions and contribute to standardizing national supervisory practices.

Despite the anticipated benefits, concerns have been raised by some EU officials and national governments, who fear that assigning a sanctions role to AMLA might compromise the agency's primary function and potentially lead to its failure.


Key highlights from the comprehensive agreement include:

Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA):

  • Direct supervision of 40 of the riskiest financial entities or groups in the EU.

  • A toolbox for enforcing the highest supervisory standards at both national and EU levels.

  • Oversight of national supervisors in the non-financial sector to prevent money laundering facilitation by professionals like lawyers or notaries.

  • Establishment of a dedicated whistleblower mechanism for reporting AML framework violations.

  • Role as a central AML/CFT data hub, consolidating information from obligated entities and national supervisory authorities.

Anti-Money Laundering Regulation (AMLR):

  • Expansion of obligated entities.

  • New rules requiring all obligated entities to conduct targeted financial sanctions screening as part of customer due diligence.

  • Effective beneficial ownership registries with maximum transparency and penalties for incorrect information.

  • Encouragement of Artificial Intelligence use by obligated entities.

  • Limits on golden visas and reinforced checks on such visas.

  • Clarifications on beneficial ownership transparency requirements with a lower shareholding threshold in higher-risk situations.

  • Introduction of a ceiling on cash payments, prohibiting transactions above €10,000 for purchasing goods and services from professional merchants in the EU.

  • Inclusion of professional football clubs and agents under the AML rulebook, subject to exceptions based on proven risk.

Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD6):

  • Obligations of Member States in setting up beneficial ownership registers.

  • Access to beneficial ownership registries for persons with legitimate interest, including civil society organizations and journalists.

  • Adequate information sharing between Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs).

  • Automatic reporting of high-value asset transactions, such as yachts, private jets, and luxury cars.

  • Consistent legal framework and alignment with AMLA Regulation text.

These detailed legislative updates underscore the EU's steadfast commitment to fortifying its AML framework, ensuring a comprehensive and interconnected approach to effectively combat financial crimes."



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